Karzai wins Afghanistan election through default; North Korea again seeks bilateral talks with US; Myanmar gas-and-oil pipeline; Pakistan bombing kills 30; CIT group bankrupt
Top of the Agenda: Afghanistan Declares Karzai President
Afghanistan's election commission has declared that Hamid Karzai has won the country's presidential election after rival Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from the race and the commission called off a November 7 runoff.
Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited Kabul (AFP) in an effort to help resolve the political crisis, arranging meetings with both Karzai and Abdullah, according to officials.
Abdullah's withdrawal threatens to cast doubts over the legitimacy of the next government, and to intensify the U.S. debate over whether the Obama administration should send forty thousand more troops (Reuters) to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The New York Times reports that the United States will face new challenges (NYT) in supporting Karzai, a de-legitimized president accused of widespread fraud. Administration officials say Karzai will have to regain legitimacy by changing the way he governs.
In Foreign Policy, Robert Haddick says U.S. officials' decision to report that President Karzai's brother was a paid intelligence source to the Central Intelligence Agency will make the U.S. task in Afghanistan even harder.
CFR's Max Boot says in the Weekly Standard that U.S. General Stanley McChrystal should be given the chance to boost what he says is a small and ill-equipped Afghan soldier and police forces.
On Monday, November 2 CFR and Politico.com will co-host a live chat with CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. The live chat is open to all and will take place from 12:00pm until 1:00pm ET. To participate, visit shortly before noon to register and submit your question.
CFR expert Stephen Biddle's testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the war in Afghanistan can be viewed here.
PACIFIC RIM: North Korea Presses for Talks
North Korea pressed again (NYT) for bilateral talks with the United States and warned that it was "ready to go our own way." with its nuclear weapons program. The comments, from an unidentified spokesman from North Korea's foreign ministry, came after informal talks with U.S. officials last week.
Myanmar: China and neighboring countries are moving ahead on a multi-billion-dollar oil-and-gas pipeline project that will lend Myanmar more financial strength (WSJ) and political clout in the region. Meanwhile, the United States is seeking to weaken the Myanmar regime due to its suppression of political opposition and ethnic separatists.
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org